2016 TEXTBOOK Cabernet Sauvignon "Mise en place," Oakville District
- Superbly mature and well-drained Cabernet Sauvignon site on rocky, east-side of Oakville District AVA, next door to Screaming Eagle. Merlot site is on west-side of Oakville, near To-Kalon and downslope from Harlan.
- Classic Bordelaise winemaking (blended varietals, new French oak, egg-white fining) partnered with beautiful Oakville District Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot provides a spectacular result. Unfiltered.
Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation Oakville District
Vineyard Notes Our “Mise en place” Cabernet Sauvignon comes from two very special single-vineyard sites located on the extreme eastern and western sides of the Oakville District abutting the rugged and dry Vaca Mountain and verdant Mayacamas mountain ranges. These sub-sections of the Oakville AVA are renowned for superb, richly-textured Cabernet Sauvignon and voluptuous Merlot. The terrain is characterized by steep hills that bask in warm afternoons, offering ideal growing environments. Soil profiles include gravelly alluvium (eroded off the nearby mountains) covered by gravelly loam and in some places interspersed with large boulders. They are infertile and very well-drained. Planted in the early 1980’s and 1990’s these sites clonal material include heritage selections (likely from Beaulieu Block). Exemplary sustainable farming practices are employed in these mature sites. After veraison we culled unevenly ripened bunches which reduced yield to less than 6 pounds per vine (@ 3.1 tons/acre), low for the Oakville District.
Production Notes TEXTBOOK Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot clusters were field-sorted, hand-harvested and then hand-sorted at the winery. In 2016 we also used a Pellenc sorter to deliver only pristine berries to the fermenter. Cabernet Sauvignon came in at an average of 26.6 Brix and was subsequently cold soaked for four days in open-top, temperature-controlled fermenters. We let the prevailing yeasts from the vineyard start the fermentation. Two daily punch-downs during fermentation kept the caps immersed and extracted superb flavor and structure. After thirty-one days on their skins we gently pressed into French oak barriques where the lots completed ML fermentation over the winter. Barrels were of the highest quality; 100% French, 50% new, three-year air-dried, medium-toast with toasted heads and handcrafted by Boutes, Francois Frères and Nadalié. A touch of supple Oakville Merlot from the westside foothills added generous mouthfeel and softness and completed the classic “Bordeaux Left Bank” blend profile. Twenty-two months maturation in barrel with two rackings and one egg white fining integrated flavors and developed its wonderfully balanced, yet textured mouth-feel. We bottled unfiltered so it may throw a harmless deposit. It is called “Mise en place” to reflect the preparation and diligence exercised in the vineyards and winery. We believe it is a “textbook” example of this noble variety grown in this outstanding appellation.